It’s How You Say It: 10 Words and Phrases that Make and 10 that Break Your Marketing Campaign


Even in the age of digital marketing not everything is SEO. What you say and how you say it is every bit as important as how you choose your ad buys and your keywords. I have to confess, I do have a list of marketing terms that have become pet peeves and that have turned into campaign killers that no one should ever use. I also have favorite terms that can put real oomph in your conversions and help to make your campaign a success. Here are the 10 words and phrases that will make your campaign and the 10 that will break it.

Make It! Break It!
1. Sale. Everyone loves a sale. People love to get a good deal on something that they want. 1. Hurry. Life has enough pressure, and using words like this makes readers feel as if they are being pushed.
2. Off. Offering incentives like 25 percent off or $15 off your next purchase of $80 or more gives people a concrete incentive to buy. 2. Huge. Possibly one of the most overused words in marketing. Every sale is huge, every promotion is huge, every new product is huge.
3. Bestsellers. Showcase popular products in your email campaigns and on your website. If possible showcase the product with reviews that show just why this product is so popular. 3. Up to. When you use this in a promotion, such as “Save up to 30 percent!” Customers are going to be very upset if they don’t get 30 percent be exact about what is being offered.
4. You and your. Speak to your customers as if they are sitting across the desk from you, make your marketing personal. 4. ALL CAPS! When you type in, it’s commonly accepted that you are shouting at the person reading the message. Use your indoor voice.
5. New. Showcasing new products is a surefire way to get customers to click and investigate. 5. World-famous. Someone has to tell you it’s world-famous it generally isn’t.
6. Thank you. You can use this either as an opener as in, “Thank you for your business.” Or you can also use it as a closer in your signature line. 6. Groundbreaking. Unless your product is really groundbreaking, it’s probably better to avoid using this term. It sets up expectations that are rarely met
7. Free. Everyone loves to get something for free. You would be amazed what people do in order to get free shipping, or buy one get one free. 7. Leading. Referring to a product is a leading product means that it is already well known. If the product is noted as leading, it needs to be factual.
8. Special or exclusive offer. A special offer intimates that it is not widely available and adds a certain cachet to the campaign. 8. Amazing. When everything is amazing, then nothing is amazing. This term is one of the most overused and can turn a campaign into a nonstarter.
9. Value. Everyone likes to think that they are getting the most value for their dollars. By offering the customer value, you’re letting them know that their money won’t be wasted. 9. Guaranteed. Unless you are offering a written guarantee about the product and what it does, do not use this word.
10. Discover. Everyone likes to make a discovery, using this term with new product invites customers to investigate further before they buy. 10. Cutting edge. Once again, unless your product is cutting edge, do not use this term to refer to it.

In the comparatively short lifetime of the Internet, people have become much savvier when it comes to advertising. They are much more discerning, and tend to roll their eyes at clickbait wherever it turns up. Unless you deliver on what your headline promises, you are clickbait, and even Facebook is losing tolerance for you. It’s always better to be truthful and on the level with people even before they become your clients. A reputation for straight shooting and no-nonsense earns respect and repeat business. So put on the White Hat and get ready to ride.



4 Step Studio is an online marketing agency that specializes in website design and redesign, SEO, social media and more. Our team of experts focuses on helping small business get found online, while educating them on what will make them successful in the digital world. To learn more about what we can do for you, visit our website at

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